Mountain Tamer Stream “Warlock”; Psychosis Ritual Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

There’s been a menacing undercurrent to computer science master thesis projects see here now For You college essay questions buzzfeed thesis and dissertation zamorano Mountain Tamer‘s take on psychedelia since their inception, and it would appear that the forthcoming Do you want to How To Write An Introduction For Research Paper from a reliable writing provider? Then you have come to the right place. We offer original academic works at reasonable Psychosis Ritual will continue that thread at least in some measure. The Los Angeles trio have newly unveiled “Warlock,” track two of the seven-cut release, and the song brims with freak-punk intensity, churning riffs around wide-spaced echoes that seem to radiate ill intent, not in that hey-let’s-go-kill-ladies kind of way, but definitely in some fashion that’s up to no good. And that likes being up to no good.

Dark magic, and whatnot. I said last week when the band got signed that they’d probably have a track up to go with preorders. Look at me, seeing patterns.

Preorders for We are offering First_Class Group Home Business Plan Sample at most affordable prices. Get Cheap Dissertation Writing Service at flat rates for all Psychosis Ritual are open and available through help for law students with add writing papers go write assignments for you flannery o connor essay Heavy Psych Sounds, and the album has been confirmed for a Sept. 25 release date, which also happens to be my wedding anniversary. Guess it’s a Friday this year. In 2004, it was a Saturday.

Album cover and details came down the PR wire:

mountain tamer psychosis ritual

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce MOUNTAIN TAMER brand new album PSYCHOSIS RITUAL – presale starts TODAY!!!

Today we are extremely proud to start the presale of the MOUNTAIN TAMER brand new album PSYCHOSIS RITUAL !!!

Psychosis Ritual is the sum of Mountain Tamer’s first decade of exploration into the psychedelic arts. The album takes the band on a journey through the occult rhythms and tones of worlds forgotten. Each track is a new chapter of Mountain Tamer riffing their way into uncharted territory. For this ritual, you are the sacrifice…

Mountain Tamer is Andru Hall (Guitar/Vocals), Casey Garcia (Drums), and David Teget (Bass). Psychosis Ritual was recorded and mixed by Salem’s Bend guitarist Robert Parker, with mastering by Mike Tarsia at Sigma Sounds Studios. This recording is the most cohesive and lucid experience Mountain Tamer has yet to offer.

The album artwork by photographer Dillon Vaughn and tattoo artist Derek Pratt only adds to the singular vision of Psychosis Ritual by providing beautifully lysergic visuals that are inseparable from the music itself.

ALBUM PRESALE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS137

USA PRESALE via Forced Exposure (link available soon):
https://www.forcedexposure.com/SearchResult.html?SearchType=Basic&Type=artist&Key=mountain%20tamer

RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 25th

RELEASED IN :
– 20 ULTRA LTD TEST PRESS VINYL
– 150 ULTRA LTD HALF HALF – ORANGE/GREEN VINYL
– 450 LTD BLUE VINYL
– BLACK VINYL
– DIGIPAK
– DIGITAL

TRACKLIST:
1. Psychosis Ritual
2. Warlock
3. Turoc Maximus Antonis
4. Scorched Earth
5. Death In The Woods
6. Chained
7. Black Noise

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Album Review: Alain Johannes, Hum

Posted in Reviews on June 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Alain Johannes Hum

While to heavy rock heads he’s undoubtedly best known as the erstwhile guitarist for Do Your Homework Quote at 100% legal writing service. We are 24/7 ready to help you with your paper writing. We are saving grades for more than 5 years. Queens of the Stone Age, ContentSkrift is one of the most popular organization in the area of Book Report Ideas For Highschool Students, Professional Content Services, Technical Content Services. Alain Johannes‘ career stretches back decades and has seen him work in various groups and styles, including New Wave, alternative rock, desert rock, and so on. Ten years ago, he released Are you stuck in writing a business plan? We offer the best Assignment Of Contracts online. Spark, his first solo album, through Ask us 'follow link' and we will make you live your academic dream. Let's get in touch now to start working on A grades right away. Josh Homme‘s Online http://www.chacf.co.uk/custom-university-admission-essays-be/ for students of PK with 100% money back guarantee. Our professional writers help you achieving your academic and career goals. Rekords Records and write my aper - receive a 100% authentic, plagiarism-free paper you could only think about in our paper writing assistance Best HQ academic services Mike Patton‘s Tired of scouring the Web for the best Writing Technical Papers, trying to figure out which company is worth your money? Check our reviews of the best ones. Ipecac Recordings, and after other self-released solo offerings and collaboration with http://bmatovu.com/literature-review-in-research-proposal Service. 12 likes. Buy Thesis Online is one of the dissertation writing services that really cares about customers and their college paper. Patton in Writing a research paper will take you only 2 minutes with our help. Can't believe it? Let our follow url prove it! The Alain Johannes Trio feat. Mike Patton for the 2018 single “Luna a Sol,” The process of buy an essay online students will decide that it’s better not to bother somebody and just skip writing and download or Writing Dissertation Proposals Johannes presents Your Business Writing Center instructor will teach you the skills you need to become a competent, successful Bikini Kill Anti Pleasure Dissertation. Our instructors have Hum through Ipecac as the third full-length under his own name and the first since 2014’s Fragments and Wholes Vol. 1, though obviously he’s done other work between. The prevailing spirit of Hum, though, is personal and intimate, and the album stretching across just 35 minutes with 10 tracks that vary in arrangement perhaps more in mood, Johannes having no trouble at this stage in his career knowing the comfort zone of his voice, and being likewise able to craft material that is expressive while still engaging for the listener.

His cigar-box guitar and finger strumming, acoustics and electrics populate the songs with due sense of personality, and as opener “Mermaid’s Scream” has echoes of Lullabies to Paralyze at the outset, backing moans and all, what unfolds from there finds a niche for itself that feels as much folk as rock, and perhaps takes some extra delight in dwelling between genres, the finger-dance-on-strings of the subsequent title-track giving a dreamy feel to go with Johannes‘ vocal melody, sounding humble but not at all simple, giving a feeling of space through echoes and backing keys or effects drone — a hum, suitably enough. As “Mermaid’s Scream” and “Hum” are the two shortest cuts on Hum at under two and a half minutes each, even as they complement each other there’s a momentum being built that hints at a straightforwardness of form that “Hallowed Bones” builds outward, taking that foundation of acoustic would-be-minimalism-if-it-weren’t-so-complex-ness and adding textures of vocal layers and string sounds.

Thinking of “Mermaid’s Scream” and the title-track as a foundation for Hum is a useful way of hearing the album, essentially teaches the listener how to hear it, setting the basis early for what stands to follow in “Hallowed Bones” and “Someone,” which returns to the acoustic guitar but keeps an arrangement of intertwining vocal layering in an almost call and response chorus, reminiscent of a contemplative Bowie but remaining smooth in the delivery. “Someone,” then is the back-to-ground reset before the more forwardly electric “If Morning Comes,” bringing percussion with it and a brooding atmosphere that, like “Hallowed Bones,” adds to its strumming rather than departs entirely from it. As the halfway point of the record, it is a well-placed turn, and the first song yet to top four minutes, which is more than enough time for it to affect its hypnotic rhythm and winding solo edge as it progresses through the wash of its second half.

Alain Johannes (Tom Bronowski)

I’m not sure if he’s handling all the instruments himself, but Johannes is in command of the proceedings one way or the other, and after “If Morning Comes” marches out, “Free” pulls back again to a single layer of voice over a finger-plucked guitar, like the title-track before it, effective in its shift, immediately recognizable, immediately familiar, and rife with purpose. There’s a fullness of sound that comes from Johannes‘ technique, but it creates a kind of tension as well for the simple fact that there’s so much melody happening at once. It’s serene, but it’s the serenity of looking at a river with a rushing undercurrent. You realize there’s a pull there even if on the top it seems more peaceful. So it is through “Free,” which is — if it needs to be said — gorgeous, and gives way to the darker blues of “Sealed,” vocals rougher in the tin-can-blues tradition to suit its lumbering guitar progression, centered more around the rhythm than melody. Is ambient blues a thing? It should be. And Johannes should probably spearhead it given what he does with “Sealed,” including the electrified solo ripped out in the song’s later reaches.

Time again to go to ground. “Here in the Silence” is a sweet folk melody filled out by keys or guitar or flute or whatever the hell it is, as well as the cigar-box strum, and leaves nothing unsaid after its sub-three-minute run, offering a quick reorientation before the penultimate “Nine” reframes the proceedings once again with electronic beats and Johannes‘ voice farther back in the distance, locking into what turns out to be one of Hum‘s finest hooks in the process. By the time Johannes gets there, “Nine” functions well alongside the rest of Hum precisely because it doesn’t quite fit. The album has to that point bounced back and forth through these shifts in arrangement, drawn together by mood, melody and Johannes‘ voice, and those elements are consistent in “Nine” as well, despite the difference of use to which they’re put.

“Finis” is a self-aware closer, hinting toward Americana as much as desert-delia, and one gets the sense that had he wanted it to, “Finis” could easily have worked as a harder rocker. Instead, though, it is one last return to the acoustic roots of the rest of the record, though it does flesh out as it proceeds, backing vocals and other whatnot helping to round off the record with a nod toward summary, even if the intention doesn’t seem to be to have it be complete in that regard. There are things Johannes is leaving unsaid here, and it’s not that that makes Hum unsatisfying in some way. Just the opposite. For an outing that carries itself in such unpretentious fashion, there’s an air of mystery and obscurity that comes through the atmosphere as yet another factor adding depth to Johannes‘ craft. We’re that not organic, the record would be a joke, but as it stands, Johannes is able to bring the audience with him on this apparently inward journey, and the going is all the more resonant for that.

Alain Johannes, “Hum” official video

Alain Johannes website

Alain Johannes on Thee Facebooks

Alain Johannes on Instagram

Ipecac Recordings webstore

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Goatsnake Release New Single Breakfast with the King b/w Deathwish

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Granted, I’m perpetually late with news, but while Juneteenth is already past, the money from Goatsnake‘s single, Breakfast with the King b/w Deathwish, still goes to Color of Change. Three dollars doesn’t seem like too much to ask, and yes, I say that as someone who just paid it in order to secure a download for what’s been presented as a limited-time-only release. Though they were previously issued on a special 2LP edition of Goatsnake‘s 2015 album, Black Age Blues (review here), and they come from those same studio sessions — if you were thinking they were brand new, I’m sorry to disappoint; I don’t think we’re getting new Goatsnake anytime soon, though I’d only be happy to be wrong about that — I hadn’t yet heard the hooky “Breakfast with the King” and its speedier counterpart “Deathwish,” so I’m glad for the chance to do so. Some bands, you take it however it comes.

You’ll note the cover art here is similar to Black Age Blues as well. I actually had that album on the other day, apropos of nothing so much as wanting to hear it as it had been a while. Yes, it’s held up to the subsequent half-decade, and yes, I’m still bumming about never having seen Goatsnake live. Like my saggy old-man-ass itself, it is a weight I carry everywhere I go.

With that, to the PR wire:

goatsnake breakfast with the king

GOATSNAKE Issues Two Unreleased Tracks From Black Age Blues Sessions To Benefit The Color Of Change Organization For Juneteenth 2020

Southern California’s GOATSNAKE has unveiled two rare tracks from the recording sessions of their Black Age Blues LP. The band has issued the tracks to raise money for the Color Of Change organization, in conjunction with Bandcamp’s no-fee charity day this week.

The two GOATSNAKE tracks, “Breakfast With the King” and “Deathwish,” are two burners from the Black Age Blues album sessions. They were previously only available as bonus tracks on the double vinyl version of Black Age Blues and have been introduced to the digital realm for the ongoing charity drives the band is supporting for Juneteenth 2020. The songs are only available at Bandcamp for a limited time.

The band writes, “Greetings Goat fiends! We hope all of you are keeping your heads up during these challenging times. We are making available two rare ‘Snake tracks that have not been available digitally until now! Proceeds will be donated to the Color Of Change organization to help further their absolutely vita work they do. Racial justice is an issue for everyone, and we all need to be proactive in working towards the goal of equal justice and fair treatment for everybody.”

Join GOATSNAKE in making a heavy donation to Color Of Change and check out “Breakfast With the King” and “Deathwish” at Bandcamp RIGHT HERE.

GOATSNAKE released their lauded Black Age Blues LP in June of 2015. Featuring guest contributions from David Pajo (Slint, Aerial M, Papa M) and soul vocal trio Dem Preacher’s Daughters and more, the LP was recorded and mixed at Rock Falcon Franklin, Tennessee by Nick Raskulinecz (Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Mastodon, Rush) and mastered by Brian Big Bass Gardner (N.W.A., Stevie Wonder, Parliament).

https://www.facebook.com/Goatsnakers
https://goatsnakesl.bandcamp.com
http://www.southernlord.com
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
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https://www.instagram.com/southernlordrecords

Goatsnake, Breakfast with the King b/w Deathwish (2020)

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Mountain Tamer Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds; Psychosis Ritual Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

For those in the States, I know a good portion of Heavy Psych Sounds‘ distribution was formerly handled through the All That is Heavy store. How that whole situation has shaken or will shake out, I don’t know, but it seems to have gotten ugly from my limited, reading-posts-on-social-media-based understanding. Nonetheless, the Italian imprint which by now is one of the world’s foremost purveyors of quality heavy pressed forward, and Los Angeles upstarts Mountain Tamer are a choice snag. The band issued their “Death in the Woods” single (posted here) last year to coincide with a tour that also followed the arrival of their second album, Godfortune//Dark Matters (review here), which came out in 2018 through Nasoni and Magnetic Eye.

There isn’t an exact release date given for Psychosis Ritual, which will be Mountain Tamer‘s debut for Heavy Psych Sounds, but preorders start on June 24 and I’d expect more info, artwork and maybe even a song premiere around then as well.

Until next week, then:

mountain tamer

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce a new band signing: US heavy rockers MOUNTAIN TAMER!!!

We are so stoked to welcome in our roster a brand new band.

Ladies and gentlemen please welcome the Los Angeles based heavy rockers MOUNTAIN TAMER !!!

The band will release their brand new album Psychosis Ritual via Heavy Psych Sounds.

ALBUM PRESALE STARTS JUNE 24th

SAYS THE BAND:

For Psychosis Ritual, we really wanted to work with a label that could bring our music to a new audience and make our long time fans proud. To sign with a label that has done so much for rock n roll and worked with legendary artists has been a dream come true!

BIOGRAPHY

Mountain Tamer takes the expansive vision of pure psychedelia and pares it down through the brooding and focused lens of doom and stoner rock. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Hall, drummer Casey Garcia and bassist Dave Teget, formed their signature fusion of heavy psych rock in 2011 just outside of San Francisco. Now based in Los Angeles, Mountain Tamer’s cult following is built on their DIY ethics, inimitable songwriting, and in your face live performances. After self-releasing several demos, the band released their s/t debut album in 2016 on Argonauta Records.

Mountain Tamer toured heavily following the release, playing with notable acts along the way such as Fatso Jetson, Weedeater and Dead Meadow. In 2018, Mountain Tamer teamed with Magnetic Eye and Nasoni Records to release their sophomore album, Godfortune// Dark Matters to critical acclaim for its unique approach and genre bending aesthetics. The band rode this success to a full US tour and appearances at SXSW in 2019. The band quickly followed up with a taste of their upcoming album, Psychosis Ritual, with their single, Death in the Woods. Although only a teaser of their next work, it has quickly become a fan favorite.

MOUNTAIN TAMER is:

Andrew Hall – Guitar/Vocals
Casey Garcia – Drums
Dave Teget – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/MTNTMR/
https://www.instagram.com/mtntmr/
https://mtntmr.bandcamp.com/
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

Mountain Tamer, “Death in the Woods”

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Glass Eye Post “X-Y” Single; Announce Debut EP & Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

glass eye

Okay, so here’s what’s up. There’s a lot going on in this announcement, which I actually put together from two separate announcements. Los Angeles’ Glass Eye is a newcomer psychedelic project headed by guitarist/vocalist Febian Perez. There’s a new single called “X-Y” out now that you can stream below. It comes from Glass Eye‘s debut album, Like a Razor to the Eye, which is being released later this year.

Separate from that, Glass Eye will issue their first EP, Somewhere, Nowhere, on June 25, and I’m pretty sure “X-Y” isn’t on that at all, though I could be wrong. Either way, one assumes the lead single is a fair sampling of Glass Eye‘s wares, and the melted-down shuffle it elicits is suitably moving for a band/project that seems to have come together with a strong idea of sonic intent.

Info follows, as per the PR wire:

glass eye x y

Los Angeles based Glass Eye is excited to premiere their transcendent debut EP.

Glass Eye have completed work on their newest single ‘X=Y’ in anticipation of a late 2020 release of their LP ‘Like A Razor To The Eye’. Glass Eye sounds as though they were a great lost garage-psych treasure from the 90s, blended into the modern age with poignant lyricism and unique composition.

‘X-Y’ is one of the album’s tracks, recorded over the course of a year at Bedrock in LA, his home studio and finally mixed by Erik Wofford at Cacophony Recorders in Austin, of Black Angels and Explosions in the Sky fame. The song takes the listener on a pounding and frenetic journey through a madness dreamed up in darkness.

Glass Eye have completed work on their newest EP ‘Somewhere, Nowhere’ in anticipation of a June 25th, 2020 release. The EP showcases all of the darker and fluid intricacies of Glass Eye’s complex songwriting.

Originally from New York City; Glass Eye was founded by Febian Perez in 2019 after many years of touring, recording and performing in various projects. In early 2020, he took the leap and dove head first into finishing a series of albums that he began work on in the year prior. Taking it into his own hands, he composed and performed all the instruments on ‘Somewhere, Nowhere’. With tonal influences ranging from driving dance grooves and lush soundscapes to dissonant explosions and hallucinatory treks into madness…This EP is sure to sink its hook deep inside.

The EP was recorded and mixed over the course of a year and a half, at his home studio by Febian Perez.

https://www.facebook.com/glasseyeLA
https://www.instagram.com/glasseyeofficial/
https://glasseyeofficial.bandcamp.com/

Glass Eye, “X-Y”

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Keverra Premiere “Bathsheba” Video from Self-Titled Debut

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

keverra

Like razorblades into the eardrums, so goes the scathe of our lives. Los Angeles-based Keverra waste not a moment in delivering same on their self-titled Seeing Red Records debut album, comprising 10 tracks of alternately atmospheric and churning, precision-doled aggro fury, taking the bounce of West Coast noise rock born of skate culture punk 40-ish years ago and digging into something meaner, harsher, and more thickly toned with it. “Albion” rolls, “Bathsheba” crunches with starts and stops, but the message and bite and disaffection remain consistent.

There’s no shortage of sludge underpinning either, and that they know what they’re doing is less of a surprise when one considers the band’s lineage: bassist Scott Renner tenuring in Goatsnake and playing live in Sourvein, drummer Mateo Pinkerton keverra keverraformerly in -(16)- and ahead-of-their-time victory-bringer metal traditionalists Crom, as well as Buzzov*en, and vocalist/guitarist Kurk Stevens in his noise outfit Mayan Bull, which accounts for the ambience strewn throughout and between the longer cuts in pieces like “Incendiare,” “Anasthetic,” the feedback-driven “Bitter Air of Exile” and “Funerary,” the low static drone of which which appears right ahead of punishing final duo “No God” and “Black Tie Affair,” marked by a great chugging and gnashing of teeth.

The character of Keverra as an album though isn’t necessarily limited to one or the other side. That is, while in a certain sense it trades between atmospheric interludes and pummeling noise-sludge metal, the lines aren’t so strictly drawn, and a song like “Bathsheba” or the later “Object to be Destroyed,” or even “No God”, has the room to flesh out as it needs to. I wouldn’t call anything so intense patient — it’s not trying to be patient, it’s trying to eat your face — but there is a method at work behind Keverra‘s songwriting and while their mission might be distinctly furious, they’re working to broaden the palette of noise in a way that doesn’t let go of the anger at its core but comes across as a little more contemplative; or at very least they’re aiming the flamethrower before they torch whatever’s in their path.

I’ll spare you the tie-in to the pandemic or the sociopolitical climate, or, you know, the climate climate — since all that stuff is overarching and relevant anyhow, and if you find your skin crawling with bitter restlessness, you’ll be glad to know that Keverra‘s Keverra is name-your-price at the band’s Bandcamp now.

A quote from the band follows the video and gives some background.

Please enjoy:

Keverra, “Bathsheba” official video premiere

Keverra on “Bathsheba”:

The song ‘Bathsheba’ is about suppression and the dynamic and vexing nature of its many manifestations.

The footage for the video was shot in March; eerily, just a few days before Los Angeles went into quarantine.

We originally met our friend (Photographer/DP) Todd Hickey that day to hammer out the live portion of a video that was intended to be edited in w/ other concept footage. Given the utter excising of live music from all of our lives we decided that it might be best to take a step toward filling that void by just showing us do our thing.

Hails, stay safe, hope to see everyone real soon!

KEVERRA is:
Kurk Stevens: Guitars, Vocals, Noise
Scott Renner: Bass
Mateo Pinkerton: Drums, Vocals, Samples

Keverra, Keverra (2020)

Keverra on Thee Facebooks

Keverra on Instagram

Keverra on Bandcamp

Seeing Red Records on Thee Facebooks

Seeing Red Records on Instagram

Seeing Red Records on Bandcamp

Seeing Red Records website

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Friday Full-Length: Red Sparowes, At the Soundless Dawn

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 5th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

It’s ironic that an album so clearly based around the end of existence as we know it through a sixth great extinction should be so comforting. In 2005, when Red Sparowes issued At the Soundless Dawn, the notion on which the 62-minute seven-tracker was based was a relatively unknown idea, and since then not only has the science behind it become more widely accepted but countless other bands have taken their cues from Red Sparowes and from the world around them generally and openly discussed issues of climate change, nature and humanity’s relation to it. It doesn’t seem fair to attribute that to the Los Angeles-based outfit alone — everyone lives on the planet, after all, and the subject is relevant politically as well as in terms of the sheer ecosystem destruction — but they helped pave the way certainly. Perhaps doubly impressive that’s the case since At the Soundless Dawn is instrumental.

The subject matter was just one of the ways in which Red Sparowes‘ debut, out initially on CD through Neurot Recordings and vinyl through Robotic Empire, was groundbreaking. Post-metal was just beginning to take shape at the time, with stylistic godfathers Neurosis having released The Eye of Every Storm and Isis issuing Panopticon the year before. Bands like Minsk and Mouth of the Architect also making striking debuts and Russian Circles were beginning to find their way in terms of aesthetic. It was an exciting time for a new progressive vision of heavy, and At the Soundless Dawn offered not only that, but a distinct literary sensibility owing in part to the structure of its titles. To wit, the tracklisting:

1. Alone and Unaware, the Landscape was Transformed in Front of Our Eyes
2. Buildings Began to Stretch Wide Across the Sky, And the Air Filled With A Reddish Glow
3. The Soundless Dawn Came Alive as Cities Began to Mark the Horizon
4. Mechanical Sounds Cascaded Through the City Walls and Everyone Reveled in Their Ignorance
5. A Brief Moment of Clarity Broke Through the Deafening Hum, But it Was Too Late
6. Our Happiest Days Slowly Began to Turn into Dust
7. The Sixth Extinction Crept Up Slowly, Like Sunlight Through the Shutters, as We Looked Back in Regret

Reading those now it’s hard not to think of looking at wildfires in the distance, raging so hard that the smoke they’re putting out is adding to the pollution that was their cause in the first place.

red sparowes at the soundless dawn

Each track, thusly descriptive, becomes an evocative chapter in this overarching narrative, and with ties to both Isis through guitarist/organist Bryant Clifford Meyer and guitarist/bassist Jeff Caxide and Neurosis through guitarist/pianist Josh Graham — who handled visuals for Neurosis live for years as well as artwork and did the same for Red Sparowes; his art has continued to work in themes of nature and climate — as well as Marriages through bassist/pedal steel guitarist Greg Burns, Red Sparowes immediately had the pedigree to validate their ambition. That is to say, 15 years ago, a band making their debut on Neurot with members associated with Isis, Neurosis and Marriages would have an easy time getting their foot in the door of listeners. I have to think that the same would apply if At the Soundless Dawn were coming out today. Maybe more so.

On top of that, however, Red Sparowes would earn every ounce of acclaim they’d reap. The depths and sprawl of At the Soundless Dawn remain likewise immersive and staggering, and in moments of shining pedal steel giving way to ambient synthesized and manipulated voice drones like “Mechanical Sounds Cascaded…” or in the relatively driving recurring riffs of “Buildings Began to Stretch Wide…” — particularly Neurosis-derived — and the circa-midpoint wash of 19-minute closer “The Sixth Extinction Crept Up Slowly…,” and in the quiet reaches that follow and seem to manifest extinction itself, At the Soundless Dawn succeeds in telling its story without saying a single word. And though obviously the finale is a focal point as it consumes nearly a third of the album’s total runtime, shorter pieces like “A Brief Moment of Clarity…” — the pedal steel of which reminds me of repurposed Yawning Man guitar tone — and “The Soundless Dawn Came Alive…” and the penultimate echoing “Our Happiest Days…” play an essential role in casting a vision of heavy that is no less meditative than it is weighted. These are ideas one might now take for granted in no small part because of the work Red Sparowes do in these songs.

The band would have reunited in April — they may yet do so in 2021 — at the Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands. Timely because of the 15th anniversary of this album, no doubt their taking the stage would and will be welcome anytime it happens. The lineup would change over time as Caxide, Graham and original drummer Dana Berkowitz left and the likes of Emma Ruth Rundle (then also of Marriages), Dave Clifford (Pleasure Forever) and Brendan Tobin (Made Out of Babies) — among others — would make their way into and out of the group. The second album, 2006’s Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun, took on a more directly sociopolitcal theme while furthering the debut’s sonic purposes, and 2008’s Toshi Kasai-produced Aphorisms EP and 2010’s The Fear is Excruciating, but Therein Lies the Answer long-player (on Sargent House) — which I apparently bought at Roadburn 2010 — round out the main catalog, though splits along the way with Gregor Samsa, Grails, and Made Out of Babies & Battle of Mice provided quicker immersion.

Maybe Red Sparowes ran their natural course in the same way that Isis did, though it certainly happened in less time for Bryant Clifford Meyer in the band considered widely his own. I’ll admit it had been a while since I last listened in earnest to At the Soundless Dawn, and as I remember seeing them during this era (as much as I remember anything from that era), I was looking forward to doing so again now. The world is what it is. Sad, mostly. At the Soundless Dawn is warm and prescient in kind, and offers escapism even as it hinges on direct confrontation with complexities and the delirium tremens of our times.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

What would it take for a global pandemic to fall out of the lead spot on the news? I don’t know who asked, but I’m sorry they did. The killing of George Floyd is a tragedy, and while I’m skeptical it will result in any grand structural change, particularly with white apartheid embedded in the current structure of the American republic owing to gerrymandering and voter suppression, seeing people out across the country calling for change has been a reminder that the majority of citizens across demographics actually support progressive causes, and it is the minority who lead and do so to serve their own interests.

Consider the US president mobilizing prison guards to disperse a peaceful protest to take a photo holding a Bible in front of a church that would soon denounce him. Constitutional? No, not really. More like white supremacist fascism couched as “strong leadership.” In fact there is nothing strong about it.

I generally don’t believe in the power of nonviolent protest to enact meaningful change, but if you haven’t given money to Black Lives Matter, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Bail Fund, or any other progressive cause speaking out this week, now’s a good time.

I understand now how Germans who disagreed with the Nazis got stuck. I have a home. I have a young child. My wife has a job. We have this house. And who knows if we could get across a border anyway? Where would we go? Tilburg? Canada? Ireland? The Patient Mrs. and I have talked numerous times about “when it’s time to leave” and honestly, the mobilization of legally-specious secret police forces — and subsequent lying to the press about it — seems to be a good time. Hell, locking kids in cages seemed to be a good time, even if our white privilege protected us from actually experiencing that horror first-hand. But where would we go? Could we just leave? What would we take? What about my family? What about her family?

I don’t hold any great love of this country. I speak English, which is convenient here, but it’s convenient in a bunch of places. I think patriotism is downright silly, but I love my family. I love her family. What about them? What about the few real-life friends that I have? Some have already left. Should I follow? Can I?

That’s how it happens. It’s easy now to look back on World War II-era Europe and wonder why everyone being persecuted or who were scared of speaking out didn’t just leave. Many did. And honestly, my wife is a published author on record as supporting radical left wing and feminist ideals, and because of that I fear for her. But we have a life. Can we go? Is it time? Am I being paranoid? Would they ever “come for us” in any meaningful sense? And even if they didn’t, doesn’t that just make me all the more complicit if I don’t actively resist? Isn’t the all-or-nothing nature of fascism, not to mention the life and death stakes, emblematic of the need to take a strong stand against it?

And then it’s too late.

That’s how it happens.

Life unfolds in a series of minutes spent waiting for other things.

I would say practice radical love, but I’m not sure that’s the answer. If you’re out there protesting, or vigil-ing, or whatever, watch your back, and be fucking careful. There’s still a pandemic on, even if the numbers are down right now.

FRM.

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Days of Rona: Melissa Pinion of Stygian Crown

Posted in Features on June 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

stygian crown melissa

Days of Rona: Melissa Pinion of Stygian Crown (Los Angeles, California)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

We all live in areas that are under lockdown, so we can’t rehearse as a group. Numerous shows and festivals we were scheduled to play have been canceled or postponed as a result of the pandemic. However, we have been keeping up our chops so we can come out strong when venues begin to reopen. This downtime has given us the chance to begin developing riffs, basic song structures and lyrics for a follow-up album.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

It’s hard to say without actually seeing the inside of hospitals, but based on statistics, it appears that the stay-at-home orders are actually working at the moment and our healthcare sector is handling our cases without having to turn away anyone else with critical needs. The initial panic that we saw in mid-March has vanished, and in its place has appeared an anticipation for the world around us to get back to “normal.” The problem is, no one really knows what that means.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

There are two sides to this. Obviously, we feel badly for all the bands whose primary source of income comes from touring. Countless support staff in the entertainment industry have lost their jobs too. What many artists have done in the wake of this crisis is turned a negative situation into something positive. All of the live-streaming performances have been inspiring to see. And the money being raised by these artists for various causes shows us that listeners really care about the bands they follow.

Additionally, Germany’s “Keep It True” festival compiled hours and hours of past footage and presented it on YouTube to give fans something to enjoy on the weekend the festival was supposed to take place. We hope this positive vibe continues when the virus gets under control.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

Stygian Crown will release its debut album amid a pandemic, but our passion to create and perform will not be stopped by the coronavirus. And with the support of the metal community, we’ll be back with a vengeance before you know it!

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